Fotografie, Inkjet-Print auf Alu-Dibond, 80 x 45 cm

» Getting words to fit was the “breadandbutter” test for every headline I ever wrote as an adverting copywriter in the 1970s. Today, tweets, those little, ganged-up scraps of words, have replaced sentences entirely. Who even emails in completed sentences? Overheard conversations are even more cryptic, especially those that break into our lives, those elevator smartphone calls that trap us into someone’s divorce proceedings until our floor comes up.
The visualization of words in art has, of course, a long history — think Bruce Nauman and Barbara Kruger, and with photography contributing its own share of even earlier pioneers like Walker Evans, whose images came with built- in captions, or that Duane, Michals of course, who staged his dramas, not for Broadway, but, for the printed page.
Mining conversations heard in restaurants, along hotel corridors, in taxicabs, or when visiting friends in their homes, Laura Brichta picks up where Michals left off, working from real conversations, and transcribing what she hears through cinema subtitles, leaving it entirely to us to decipher whatever truth bubbles up. Within a Balthus-like canvas structure or a filmic Peter Greenaway panorama, snippets of the conversation advance what little action we see. Are we in a slow moving film or a fast moving sequence of images propelled by the changing dialogue? Looking closely, there is indeed a fast moving cat in all that stillness, and people entering and exiting the scene do so just as they do in Hollywood to assure us that we are in a real world. It’s a hybrid filmographic vision that Laura Brichta creates, where humor mixes with sorrow, suspense with tranquility, and clues are everywhere as much as they are nowhere. The result is a lively mix of soap opera drama dreamed up by a photographer, written by a budding screenwriter, and deftly shot by an up-and-coming cinematographer, all in two words: Laura Brichta. «

– Arno Rafael Minkkinen